Excerpt Reveal & Giveaway: Love Story by Lauren Layne

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


Over the course of one wild road trip, 
feuding childhood sweethearts get a second chance at love.


LOVE STORY
a Love Unexpectedly novel
Lauren Layne
Releasing February 14th, 2017
Loveswept


Over the course of one wild road trip, feuding childhood sweethearts get a second chance at love in this charming rom-com—a standalone novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Blurred Lines and Good Girl.

When Lucy Hawkins receives a job offer in San Francisco, she can’t wait to spread her wings and leave her small Virginia hometown behind. Her close-knit family supports her as best they can, by handing over the keys to a station wagon that’s seen better days. The catch? The cross-country trip comes with a traveling companion: her older brother’s best friend, aka the guy who took Lucy’s virginity hours before breaking her heart.

After spending the past four years and every last dime caring for his sick father, Reece Sullivan will do just about anything to break free of the painful memories—even if it means a two-week road trip with the one girl who’s ever made it past his carefully guarded exterior. But after long days of bickering in the car turn into steamy nights in secluded motel rooms, Reece learns that, when it comes to Lucy, their story is far from over. And this time, they just might have a shot at a happy ending.

Although listed as a title in the Love Unexpectedly Series, all books in the series stand alone.





“Spock, we’re giving you Horny!” my mom blurts out, apparently fed up with my denseness.

Her utterance is too much for my siblings to handle and they both burst out laughing, retreating into the kitchen to rejoin the party where there’s wine.

Oh what I wouldn’t give for wine right now.

“I, um . . . you’re giving me the car?” I ask.

“Because yours broke down,” my dad explains, walking forward to thump Horny’s dented hood.

“And this one’s . . . not broken down?” I ask skeptically.

Look, it’s not that I’m not grateful. My parents are trying to give me a car, I appreciate the sweetness of the gesture, it’s just . . .

Here’s the thing about Horny: he barely got us three kids through high school. I mean, Horny is the car that sputtered and shook making it the 3.2 miles to Jefferson High, no matter who was behind the wheel.

I’m even going to come all the way clean here and say that early on in my freshmen year, I was embarrassed showing up in Horny. Then I realized I was lucky to have a car at all, and well . . . I dunno, I guess Horny became a part of us Hawkins kids’ charm, because the station wagon was practically an institution from Craig’s high school reign all the way through Brandi’s.

But poor Horny quit working years ago. Much to Brandi’s chagrin, he gave up the ghost a mere two months before her high school graduation, and she spent the last bit of her senior year being picked up by my parents.

“He’s going to take you to California,” Dad says, giving the car another thump.

“Really?” I step forward and run a tentative finger along the familiar panel. He’s had a bath, so at least that’s something. “Because last I knew, he wouldn’t even make it out of the garage.”

“Yeah, well, we neglected him for a while, but he’s right as rain now,” Dad says, puffing out his chest as though Horny’s a fourth child.

“Like, as in he actually starts?”

“Purrs like a kitten,” my mom says with an emphatic nod, even though I know she doesn’t even like cats. “We didn’t believe it, but we took him to church on Sunday and there were no issues.”

I literally bite my tongue to keep from pointing out that this is hardly a feat. Sacred Presbyterian is 0.8 miles away from the house.

“You took Horny into a shop?” I ask, starting to warm to the idea of having a car again. I’m a little touched, actually. Money is tight for my parents. Dad’s a PE teacher, and Mom gives a mean winery tour, but the gig’s never paid much.

“Not exactly, it was more of a bartering situation,” Mom says.

“Yeah?” I say, going around to the driver’s seat, already giddy with the prospect of telling Oscar I’ll be able to come see him in Miami after all, even if I won’t exactly be riding in style.

“Reece agreed to fix him up.”

I’m lowering myself into the car as my dad says this, but I reverse so quickly I hit my head. My skull doesn’t even register the pain, because I’m too busy registering the hurt in my heart at the familiar name. “I’m sorry, what?”

“Reece,” my mom says, giving me a bemused look. “He’s always been handy with cars.”

“He fixed up the car in exchange for what?”

And then I feel—I actually feel—the air change around me as the side door to the garage opens, and a new presence sucks all the air out of the space.

I don’t turn around. I don’t move. But I feel his eyes on me. Over me.

“Reece is headed out to California too,” my oblivious mother chatters on. “It worked out perfectly actually. Now you two can ride together, and your dad and I don’t have to worry about you alone in the middle of nowhere with a twenty-something-year-old car.

They think the car is going to be the problem here? It’s not the car that’s toxic to me. It’s him.

Reece Sullivan. My brother’s best friend. My parents’ “other son.”

Slowly I force myself to turn, and even though I’m prepped, the force of that ice-blue gaze still does something dangerous to me.

He winks, quick and cocky, and I suck in a breath, and I have to wonder . . .

I wonder if my parents would feel differently about their little plan if they knew that their makeshift mechanic is the same guy that popped my cherry six years earlier under their very roof.

And then broke my heart twenty-four hours later.



Lauren Layne is the USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart--cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian.

In 2011, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing career in Manhattan, and never looked back.

In her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.


For a list of all her works, please be sure to check out her official website!



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Review & Giveaway: Rescued by Love by Melissa Foster

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


Jake has never left anyone behind--will Addison be his first failed rescue?


RESCUED BY LOVE
The Ryders Book Four
Melissa Foster
Released Jan 11, 2017
World Literary Press


As the daughter of a world-renowned fashion designer, Addison Dahl enjoyed a privileged life attending the most sought after parties, traveling around the world, and having anything she wanted. Until she broke free and went against her father’s wishes, needing to prove to herself—and to him—that she could make it on her own. Now she’s ready to take her adventures in a new direction and sets her sights on roughing it in the wilderness.

Jake Ryder followed in his father’s footsteps as a top search and rescue professional. He spends his days saving those in need and his nights in the arms of willing women who offer nothing more than a few hours of sexual enjoyment. Just the way he likes it.

When Jake’s sister-in-law calls and reports her best friend missing, it’s up to Jake to find her and bring her home. But Addison isn’t lost, and she sure as hell isn’t going to be told what to do by an ornery mountain man with whom she’d spent one torrid night after her best friend’s wedding. Jake has never left anyone behind—will Addison be his first failed rescue?


Excerpt:
The spicy scent of Jake’s cologne overrode the aroma of grilled meats and casseroles Gabriella’s relatives had spent all day preparing. Jake rested his elbow on the bar beside her, brushing his muscular forearm against hers and sending ripples of awareness to her core.
Who was she kidding? There was no distracting herself from the biggest distraction of them all.
“I think there are still a few guys you haven’t danced with yet.”
Of course Jake would go straight to pushing her buttons.
“I’ll have to take care of that, won’t I? Gab’s brother, Niko, is looking awfully hot tonight.” Niko was the epitome of a Greek heartthrob. Tall, dark, handsome, and as touchy-feely as the rest of Gabriella’s warm and loving family. He was also a shameless flirt.
Jake ground his teeth together, nearly paralyzing her with a blistering stare.
“I haven’t seen you dance all night. What’s the matter? Not into sexy island girls? Because I’m pretty sure that guy over there by the tree bats for the other team.” She enjoyed taunting the lion, even if she didn’t want to get too close. Her pulse beat wildly, and her fingers ached to grab him by the collar of his dress shirt and yank him down for what she knew would be an incredibly hot kiss. She tried to keep from dropping her eyes lower, but she was no match for the enticing ever-present bulge beneath his zipper. The one that became even more prominent when they were near. And damn, she liked knowing she had that effect on him.
He leaned in close, his warm breath coasting over her cheek. “I’m not into dancing, but if you keep looking at me like that you might find yourself getting up close and personal with more than you can handle.”
She lifted her eyes to his, which had gone coal black, and she swallowed hard against the lust threatening to pour out her mouth. Addy was used to controlling every interaction and reveled in holding her own and taking what she wanted where men were concerned. Or at least she always had, until the King of Hotness standing next to her came into the picture. Jake definitely threw her off her game. Lately, when they were together, she caught herself wondering if what she was experiencing were actual emotions rather than impulses. That was one thing that had kept her from taking their flirting to the next level. His relationship to her best friend was the other. But boy did she want to cross that line. It had been way too long since she had been with a man, thanks to Jake. Every time she came close to satisfying the urge to feel the weight of a man pressing down on her and get lost in the throes of passion, goddamn Jake swam into her mind, stealing her focus and killing the moment. Her fantasy had become her own personal cockblocker.
In an effort to reclaim the upper hand and prove he did not rattle her, she dragged her eyes over his chest again and said, “I have yet to meet a man who comes close to being what I can handle, much less more.”
The edge of his lips twitched as if they might quirk up, but he clenched his jaw, making the muscles beneath his dark scruff jump. He shifted his eyes away just as Niko headed toward them with a warm and inviting smile, making those jaw muscles work double time.
Niko nodded at Jake and offered his hand to Addy. “What kind of brother would I be if I didn’t dance with my sister’s beautiful best friend? Care to join me?”
“I’d love to.” Addy reached for his hand, taking pleasure in the tension rolling off of the man who had yet to ask her for a single dance but had no trouble inviting her into his bed.







This is the third or fourth book that I've read by Melissa Foster and I've enjoyed all of them!  Rescued by Love is the fourth book in "The Ryders" series, but they can all be read as standalones.  All of the couples/characters from the other stories are in this one though, so I really wish I would have read those ones as well.

Addy is fiercely independent and does not want any man tying her down.  She had a wealthy life growing up, but she went against her father's wishes and wanted to  prove she could do things on her own.  She's got a sassy attitude and is very stubborn.  I have to admit that sometimes her need to prove herself got to be a bit much.  Deciding to go on a 10 day hike all alone with absolutely no training at all?  That's a terrible idea!

Jake is a top search and rescue professional and has always been known as a lady's man.  But after meeting Addy all he wants is her and since he is just as stubborn as her he keeps trying to win her over, even after she repeatedly turns him down.  I really loved Jake.  He's a lot like Addy, in the "need to be right" kind of way and he gives just as good as he gets.  

I really enjoyed that it was the guy that was head over heels for the girl and trying to show her how good they are.  Sometimes it's a nice change from the super broody, never talk about their feelings types. lol!  I am definitely going to have to go back and read the others in this series too.

* I received an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own. *


Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance, new adult romance, and women's fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa's emotional journeys are lovingly erotic, perfect beach reads, and always family oriented. 



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